Article date: 15 July 2007
Team RAC faced challenging circumstances, on a wet day in Derbyshire, at the sixth round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park today (15 July).
After races 16, 17 and 18, Colin Turkington lies fifth in the drivers championship with 105 points, whilst Tom Onslow-Cole is in 10th with 61 points. Jason Plato (SEAT Sport UK) leads with 188 points.
The first race of the day at Donington Park was not short of action, with heavy rain creating treacherous conditions.
Drivers Colin Turkington and Tom Onslow-Cole started the race in sixth and 10th places respectively. A positive start saw Onslow-Cole move up to seventh place by lap three, just one behind team mate Colin Turkington.
The Team RAC drivers moved up to fifth and sixth places in lap five after Matt Neal made a pit stop during the first safety car period. They maintained their respective positions in the face of continual pressure from Jason Plato until Colin Turkington went off the track in lap 12, resulting in dropping him down to 11th place.
Soon after the restart Northern Irishman Colin Turkington was working his way back up the field and team mate Onslow-Cole was sent spinning when he came into contact with Matt Neal, resulting in him dropping back to 12th place.
Under challenging circumstances Colin Turkington and Tom Onslow-Cole finished in seventh and 10th place respectively. Gordon Shedden (Team Halfords) won the race.
Tom Onslow-Cole said: "It was a very difficult race. The car was strong at the start and I came from 10th up into the top five. When it started to rain the conditions became very tricky. Unfortunately contact with Matt Neal sent me spinning off the track and down the order but I was pleased to regain my composure to pick up some points."
The torrential rain meant that Turkington and Onslow-Cole faced an extremely tough challenge in race two.
Turkington started the race in seventh place but soon dropped down to 10th. He remained there for the majority of the race until lap 14, when after an entertaining battle, Turkington successfully passed Mat Jackson at Redgate.
Onslow-Cole experienced similar difficulties to his team mate. He began the race in 10th and was pushing hard but the conditions caused him a number of set backs. He eventually finished in 11th place in the race that was won by Seat Sport's Jason Plato.
Colin Turkington said: "The conditions have been tough today but the car improved in the second race. The aim at the start of the day was to finish the races and score some points. Although I haven't finished as high as I have wanted I have managed to pick up valuable championship points for Team RAC."
The final race of the day at Donington Park was on a wet track but in spite of the conditions both Team RAC drivers managed to score points for the team.
Colin Turkington started on pole, at the front of the reversed grid. He started strongly holding onto his lead but on lap two he was passed by both Mike Jordon and Darren Turner. Two laps later Turkington was overtaken by Jason Plato and Matt Neal, putting him down into fifth place. He remained there until lap 12 when Mat Jackson and Gordon Shedden moved in front of him. The Northern Irishman eventually finished the race in sixth place.
Tom Onslow-Cole started from 11th on the grid but some strong driving saw the youngest driver on the grid battle to move up the order to finish the race in eighth place.
Dick Bennetts, WSR Team principal, said: "We struggled with low grip on the wet slippery track but I'm pleased to bring two cars home from all three races with the least damage all year."
Team RAC now lead the Independents Team Championship with 206 points, and sit fourth in the Overall Teams Championship with 155 points.
The BTCC action now moves to Snetterton on Sunday 29 July.
RAC were able to unveil the latest stage of their "RAC to the rescue" campaign, which provides benefits to enhance the race day experience of fans at all 10 rounds of the season.
RAC came to the rescue of families by giving them the chance to win packages which include access to the exclusive RAC family area, where over 1,000 RAC staff were supporting Team RAC.
Alastair Pegg, director of RAC marketing, said: "It was great to see so many RAC colleagues here today supporting Team RAC at Donington in spite of the torrential rain. I'm sure the support of over 1,000 RAC staff gave the drivers a boost. We felt it was only right to give away places to the RAC family area for fans to enjoy the additional race day entertainment we provided.
"RAC have many exciting initiatives planned for the ten rounds in 2007 so supporters should log onto teamrac.co.uk, look out in the media and at the rounds themselves during the season for details of our activity and how they can take part."
For further information please contact:
Lexis Sport - 07966 077572 / 0207 908 6488
Notes to editors:
The championship is firmly established not only as one of Britain's most popular form of motor racing but also as one of the UK's top sporting attractions. Over the past decade, action-packed BTCC race meetings have repeatedly drawn crowds on a par with Premiership football matches and Test Match cricket, with over 200,000 loyal spectators and over 20 million terrestrial television viewers.
RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations and a provider for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, windscreen repair and replacement, learning to drive, vehicle inspections, legal and financial services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs.
Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance (part of Aviva). Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer, insuring one in seven motor vehicles and with a market share of around 15%.